Seaweed Industry Booming in Maine

The Ellsworth American reports that some residents of Gouldsboro, Maine, are asking state and local officials to protect rockweed from what they perceive as overly aggressive harvesting. The seaweed, which grows in the intertidal zone, is harvested and processed as a nutrient for plants and animals.
Photo/Maine Rock Weedin’/Video capture.

According to the Providence Journal, Maine is leading the country in seaweed harvesting. The state supports more than 20 companies that grow or collect seaweed, about double what it was 10 years ago. Maine harvesters collected 17.7 million pounds of seaweed in 2014—the most ever recorded for the state and more than 4 times the 2004 total.

Rockweed is the most commonly harvested type of seaweed in Maine. It is used as a fertilizer, a soil conditioner, a supplement for animal feed and extracts for commercial food processors.

Read more about Maine’s booming seaweed industry.